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Volvo opens its first battery line worldwide in Flanders

Car manufacturer Volvo Cars chose its factory in Ghent (Flanders) as the location for its first-ever battery production unit, where batteries for e-cars will be assembled and tested. The unit represents an investment of EUR 150 million. Highlighting local automotive expertise and talent, Belgium – and Flanders as a region – is now home to two car factories with their own battery production units, as German company Audi made a similar investment at its Vorst factory in Brussels in 2018.

Volvo factory in Ghent, Belgium

Pioneer in electrification strategy

Battery assembly will become an important part of Volvo Cars' global assembly activities in the coming years as it continues to electrify its full range. The plant in Ghent will be able to supply other production sites with important knowledge in the field of process optimization and efficiency.

Geert Bruyneel, head of Volvo Cars’ global production unit: “This is the first of Volvo’s factories to have a battery assembly unit. By testing intensively in the coming years, we will learn a lot about battery assembly.” As such, this investment also highlights  Flanders’ reputation as a tried and true testing ground for innovations.

Jan Jambon, Minister-President of the government of Flanders, also attended the opening of the new Volvo unit. "Volvo Cars’ investment in this battery factory is proof that the automotive industry in Flanders has a bright future,” he says. “We can distinguish ourselves when it comes to innovative and smart technologies such as these. This factory is a role model for other companies in Flanders.”

Going fully green

In the new factory, battery modules are being made for the XC40 recharge model – Volvo’s very first 100%-electric vehicle – which will roll off the assembly line this year. And that’s just the beginning, as Volvo plans to bring a full electric model to the market every year for the next five years. The goal is to reduce the average carbon footprint of its cars by 40% by 2025. Another sustainability goal is for electric cars to account for 50% of global sales by 2025, with the remaining 50% sales of hybrid vehicles.

Volvo Cars was part of the Swedish Volvo Group until 1999, when the company was bought by Ford Motor Company. In 2010, Volvo Cars was acquired by Geely Holding (China).

About Belgium and Flanders

With Dutch as its official language, Flanders (Dutch: Vlaanderen) is the autonomous northern region of Belgium. The capital of both Belgium and Flanders is Brussels.

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Volvo Cars BelgiumVolvo Car Ghent
Reported by
13 March 2020

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